Keeping it going

Im not dead either! 

I've been in a bit of a slump lately and have been semi busy with a bunch of small freelance stuff on and off for the last couple of months. To be honest, I just dont feel very proud of anything i've been working on, so I just feel schlumpy about everything. I had a pretty big deal going on for a long term character thing with an awesome sci-fi/cyberpunk feel that fell through after the first chunk of work, and I get so tired of spending so much time on projects that will never see the light of day. 

This is pretty much everything I/ve been working on this year so far, no theme, no order, just barfing all over the place...

Which brings me to my next subject, Portfolio presentation! The ArtOrder has a pretty keen write up on the efficacy of online presence in general, and its really interesting to see things from an art directors point of view. I definitely recommend checking it out--



  1. Really digging all this concept work. I know this is like the blind leading the blind a bit but I think you would really benefit from a bunch of photo/film/master studies. Just for rendering materials and brush handling. Like when you have a concept you want to render out pick out the details and find some photos and just smash through a week of studies then go back and paint the concept. I know a lot of concept work is all about how quickly you can spew out ideas but honestly I don't think thats how to get those jobs. People can't see how quickly you did something or what problems you solved in the design for the 3d team in your call outs. All they see is how awesome something is or not. A lot of the time the "creatives" higher up don't really have any skills at all. They thrive off of eye candy and visual inspiration. I have heard " holy shit i want that guy concepting on our project" soooo many times from producers looking at finished illustrations not concept work.

    I may be way off base about all of that - but I have gotten a concept job and nothing but concept freelance from a portfolio with absolutely no concept work in it. Food for thought. Everyone knows that doing studies will help but personally all my 'breakthroughs" have come from the studies i did during the creation of a personal piece.. I think doing a study then applying what you learned from it immediately is the key.

    Still just learning with every new piece so what do I know lol anyways great stuff here man - you gonna go the Spectrum show again next month?

  2. Hooray! Nobody's dead! It's all very nice work, well presented, clean, effective. I'm particularly diggin the big dome headed robots, especially with the spike feet. Those are very interesting! I'd say your animation background is coming in handy with a lot of this stuff-- there's a nice presence of large, dominant shapes and continuous lines through the designs which I think really just adds up to smart character design.

    Since you gave me some hard feedback, I'm going to try to return the favor. The crit that I have for you is mostly a design one really. I keep seeing you rely on particular design ideas that, while effective, have become somewhat of a cliche in your work. I'm mostly talking about the helmets, with the long, pointed visor with a circle shape over the ear and the braid-like shapes coming down over the chest. This might sound harsh, but the more I see it, the less I care, because I recognize it as a repetitive shape and I can gloss over it quicker and quicker.
    Last year you posted this guy and it's strikingly similar.
    What I think is important to note is you had a lot of variation in the middle, particularly when working on that D&D art test character, and I think it was mostly because you were trying to assimilate another visual language/culture into your work. Maybe you just need to feed yourself some really diverse influences for a while, like do sci fi designs based on design motifs in Incan art and architecture, or do some fantasy character concepts inspired by 17th century aristocratic costume.
    I think as concept artists we do some of our best work when we're drawing on and trying to understand a visual source which waaaay richer than anything we can invent because it's been created for centuries, rather than for as long as we've been drawing and playing video games.

    On a side note, for helmet inspiration. I was completely blown away by the creativitiy and diversity of the helmet/armor designs in Halo 4. They had some world class people working on that game and it shows.
    Like i said, you've got great design sensibilities, and that was obvious even when you were back in school, consider just changing up your diet some, I think it'll give you some fuel to create some really interesting stuff. Keep it up, and best of luck with your work!

  3. Gah! those are so spot on. looking through this stuff after a long slump makes me realize just what im leaning on, and it bugs the crap out of me. I think I am actually going to take a step back and start doing more studies, anatomy sketches, and color tests and all the other basic stuff. Maybe when when you dont know what direction to turn, its easier to go back to the beginning and start again? Im not sure, but these are very good critiques fellas.

    also, as far as spectrum goes, I would loooooove to, but the possibility is remote. The little bit of dough I have saved up is going towards a new compy soon, and its long overdue. If I end up getting a sweet commission before then, i will totally jump on it.

    thanks dudes!